Steven Matz is progressing in his rehabilitation nicely. He threw an inning for Single-A Port St. Lucie last Saturday, allowing an earned run on three hits with two strikeouts. The best part is he did not feel any discomfort in his left lat muscle the day after. GM Sandy Alderson said he expects Matz to make his return to Flushing “on or around Sept. 1.”…Captain David Wright is progressing nicely in his rehab and expects a return to the team sooner rather than later. He’s played in four games and has not had an issue so far with either his back or hamstring, both of which have kept him out of the lineup since April…The bullpen has imploded of late, blowing leads for Jonathan Niese and Matt Harvey most recently. Former closer Jenrry Mejia’s boneheaded move (suspended twice for PED use) has come back to bite this club in the backside, along with injuries to left-handed relief specialists Jerry Blevin and Josh Edgin. The assortment of Bobby Parnell, Alex and Carlos Torres, Josh Edgin and Hansley Robles et al. have been underwhelming to say the least…Very telling stat making the rounds after the sweep at the hands of the Pirates this weekend. So far this season the Mets are 0-13 combined versus Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cubs…For all the progress made this season, the lack of offense, sometimes porous defense and inconsistent bullpen have continued to hurt this team on a daily basis. It appears this 4 1/2 game lead in the NL East has as much to do with the Nationals’ collapse as it does the Mets’ resurgence.
The Geno Smith drama just never seems to cease. He was photographed throwing a football outside his home, defying the Jets orders forbidding him from participating in any physical activity due to the broken jaw he suffered in a locker room confrontation with now-former teammate, and current Buffalo Bill, IK Enemkpali. HC Todd Bowles was not pleased and expressed just that in no uncertain terms to Mr. Smith…A number of Geno’s teammates, including Brandon Marshall, have spoken out in support of the QB, refusing to blame him for the incident with Enemkpali…Takeaways from the first preseason game: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick looked relatively comfortable appearing in only the first series of the game, leading the offense to a field goal…The first team defense spent most of their time chasing Lions rookie running back Ameer Abdullah downfield. In two series they committed five missed tackles. HC Bowles was not happy and made it a priority in the following day’s practice. Let’s just say they ran a lot of “gassers.” That’s football lingo for running ’til they vomit…WR Jeremy Kerley was taken aback when it was brought to his attention by the bemused NY media that, according to Coach Bowles, he was in a battle for his spot on the depth chart with second-year pro Quincy Enunwa (6th round, Nebraska). Enunwa spent last season on the Jets practice squad. Kerley had not been informed of any such development by the coaches, but noted, “It’s just part of the business,” Kerley said. “Positions get took. Guys move around. This is a new coaching staff. I signed my contract under a whole different organization. Everything is different now. The coaches have got to get a chance to know me, hopefully get a chance to see what I bring to the table.”…Brandon Marshall has looked impressive in practice, making life miserable for anyone having to defend him. He made CB Antonio Cromartie look bad on a TD pass from Fitzpatrick in Sunday’s practice…DC Kacy Rodgers seems to be gaining control of the defensive play calls. Bowles said he would turn over control to Rodgers if he showed he could handle it…TE Jace Amaro’s injury in the Lions’ game won’t help his standing in the offfense if he misses any length of time. He’s being counted on to have a big role this season but the injury to Geno Smith and an unfamiliarity with Fitzpatrick only serve to make his future appear not-so-bright at the moment.